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Welcome to another edition of “Standing in the Shadows” for Panama: Exile Island! For those readers unfamiliar with it, each season our writers and mods “stand in the shadow” of a Survivor until their torch is snuffed. You get to read what we believe is really going on in the mind of each player. Without further ado. . . .


Courtney
Brrrrrrr!! I'm so cold. Must. Get. Warm. *teeth chattering* I can’t believe how cold it gets here at night. I was so cold, I even tried to snuggle up with Shane. He is such an ass. He won’t even share his heat. Not with me at least. Hmph. He wanted out of our alliance? I couldn’t be happier to be done with him. I dance with fire, and he is just a wet blanket. Unless we’re merging…which we totally are! Yay! I made the merge! My yoga and meditation on going far has proven useful. You’d think it would have helped me last longer in the immunity challenge too, but I guess I’m really not one to just hang around. Now I can play the frail hippie chick and help vote off all of the strong guys. Under-the-radar, here I come.


Austin
I am sooo screwed! The tribes finally merged and my tribe is completely outnumbered by the other one. My only hope is if we can get Bruce, Aras or Cerie to come on our side. During the immunity challenge I didn’t want to seem too strong to the other team so I tried to negotiate with my best friend pal Terry, he was having none of it. I decided to drop early to let Nick and Terry battle it out. When Terry won the immunity challenge I was so happy for him but also worried that I would be the next voted off the island. I am not really ready to go, I still have to tell Terry how I really feel about him…good friends. At tribal council I could not stop talking and I told everyone that I tried to be weaker than I was, I probably shouldn't have given that secret away. Nick had to leave the island tonight and I am sad to see him go but I still have Terry to comfort help me through my time here.


Nick
I can’t believe I hit Bruce in the face with a machete. Seriously! I’m not an idiot, but I think lack of a decent meal or good night’s sleep in I don’t know how long must have addled my brain. Proper Machete Use 101 tells us to always look around before swinging. Damn! I think the karma gods were laughing down at me during the Immunity Challenge, because I was sooo close, but just couldn’t hold on any longer, and then I got the boot at Tribal Council. The Tribe has spoken- whatever! I can’t believe I got eliminated before that nutjob Shane- good luck aligning with a crazy man, people! Oh well, at least I get to spend some time with the many lovely ladies that I… voted off our tribe. It’s gonna be a fun few weeks.


Shane
We have got it made, man. As soon as I saw that boat headed our way, I just knew we had it in the bag. All we have to do now is pick them off, one by one. Like shooting fish in a barrel, man. I can't friggin' believe Captain America had the nerve to try and get me and Cirie to flop! Is he kidding? He has absolutely nothing to offer us. Can't blame the guy for trying, but damn. It just ain't happening, homie. Casaya may have its problems, but we are one tight group. I was worried about Bruce for a minute there, but he pulled through for us. We just have to keep patting him on the head and telling him how important he is to us so he won't flop, and we're golden.


Bruce
Finally. My plan has worked and the young grasshoppers realize just how important I am to this game. Yes, I am now in the supreme position of power. I have had both sides come to me, wishing for me to join their alliance. They have finally learned to respect my wisdom and authority. I knew it would happen eventually, since I am their superior and elder, after all. The tall grasshopper was careless and hit me in my face with the machete, but I could not show weakness! I pretended it was nothing and he learned the error of his ways. I gained even more respect after that. Yes. I have become the most powerful man on this island!


Terry
Subtlety? I spit on your subtlety. When you have the hidden immunity idol, put on your Captain America cape, and are confident you can go on a Colby-like immunity run, there is no reason to be anything other than a bull in a china shop. I figured there was no need to mess around. Well, at least not about trying to flip one or two of those Casaya idiots to join us. I don’t understand why Shane and Cirie didn’t think a two week guarantee that they wouldn’t be eliminated was appealing. So what if they are guaranteed to be safe for four weeks if they stick with the Casaya six? Can’t they tell that we are more fun? There was no way I was giving Austin or Nick immunity though. I could have stayed up there for a week if necessary. The kids are my buds but I have my eyes focused on the prize. I thought about using the hidden immunity idol to save Nick. In the end though, I figure I might lose a challenge or two and need it. I’m thinking it’s time to start busting out the psychological games I learned at the Academy and put some doubt in that asshat Shane’s mind about whether I have the idol. I’ll wear this silly necklace with pride for the rest of the game.


Aras
I was asleep again when it happened. Bruce was coiled under my arm as if a dachshund pup, his tiny rib cage gently rising and falling with each breath. And again the blazing orange sky split open and I gazed upon my master, Yoyohishnu, this time….in the shape of a giant ring bologna. I don’t know if this was because of how Bruce felt in my arms, or if it was because of the strange berries I’d tried smoking earlier, but either way, the Giant Ring Bologna that was now my Beloved Yoyo, spoke. In tones more gentle than a Chilean rain stick, he said, "There is a threat in your midst. A very powerful threat that no one suspects. You must rid yourself of this threat immediately." And I knew what he meant. Nick. He is taller than I am. More sinuous. Stronger. And the ladies have started gravitating towards his form at night, which is how I ended up cuddling Bruce for warmth. Nick must leave. And so when we all hung from poles like spitfire pigs, I willed Yoyo’s hand to press Nick into the soft sand. And it worked! Terry won immunity, and Nick is gone. No one threatens Aras’ nighttime bendy-love!


Danielle
This merge is sweet. With all the new people in camp, no one knows I'm here at all! No one noticed when I dropped out of the immunity challenge (and it's not easy hanging upside down from a pole when you've got boobs like mine to get in the way). No one on the other tribe even tried to get me on their side. They were all like, "Oh, Bruce, oh, Cirie, oh, Shane," but no one even spotted me. This is perfect, I can go back to my "invisibility" mode while the more loudmouth players pick off that other tribe one by one. I sure hope Probst throws in another twist near the end so I can invisible myself into the final two. You didn't see me.


Sally
I can’t believe I made it to the merge! Now maybe I’ll be safe for a few more weeks while Austin and Terry get voted out. If the old Casaya people think I’m a weak player, then that works well for me. I’m sorry that Bruce got smacked in the face with that machete, but really, better him than me – I need to keep looking as cute as possible now that I have to compete with Danielle and her chest. Plus, that put Nick in the crosshairs instead of me. There’s no way Terry has that Immunity Idol. He never would have hung on so long in that Immunity Challenge if he already had the idol. I hope I get voted back to Exile Island soon. I know I can find that idol if I have just a little bit more time.


Cirie
Ah ha ha ha! Did you hear Terry? Acting like he's Mr. Bigstuff, thinking he's offering me salvation on a platter? hahahaha Sorry, I just can't get over it! Hee. Hee. I like to laughed right in his face when he made the proposition for me to switch over to his alliance, but Cirie knows when to hold em and when to fold em, and now is the time for diplomacy. I mean, he should have had a good idea of where my allegiance lays when I, the only medically trained person on the island, didn't jump up to help Bruce when he got macheted in the face. I mean, yeah, Bruce is supposed to be on my team, but the crazy machete-wielding freak that hit Bruce is NOT. I wanted to watch him squirm. Yeah, that's right: I watched my own teammate bleed just to make a point. And that point is DON'T MESS WITH CIRIE. Okay? Cause you never know when YOU might get hit with a machete in the face. And you might just need a little triage action. And Cirie might not wanna help you when it happens. Just remember that, Mr. Bigstuff. Who do you think you are, anyways? You act like you have the immunity idol in your pocket or something....oh. Crap.



We would like to thank the following writers for contributing to this article: Dinahann, hepcat, Lucy, Mariner, mrdobolina, Shazzer, speedbump, SueEllenMishke, Suncat7, totoro, wayward and Yardgnome77